Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Milla biflora, Mexican Star

Mexican Star has showy white flowers with a thin green midvein. The flowers are solitary or in umbel-like clusters of 1 or more. Milla biflora Mexican Star blooms from August to September and grows at elevations between 3,300 and 8,900 feet. Mexican Star is included here as a possible find in desert transition areas. Milla biflora Mexican Star is more of a Mexican species then southwestern United States where it is limited to southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. Milla biflora Mexican Star is a perennial herb and member of the Lily family. The plants send up scapose flowering stems from an onion-like bulb. Milla biflora

Scientific Name: Milla biflora
Common Name: Mexican Star
Also Called: Mexican-star, (Spanish: Azucena del Campo, Lilia Cimarrona)
Family: Liliaceae or Lily Family
Synonyms: (Milla biflura)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 20 inches long or less.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; flowering stems from a tunicate bulb.
Leaves: Green; leaves 2 to 10; all basal, narrow and grass-like.
Flower Color: White with a green mid vein; flowers are solitary or in umbel-like clusters of 1 or 9, flowers large, salverform, lobes about ¾ inch long; fruit is an ovoid capsule.
Flowering Season: August to September.
Elevation: 3,300 to 8,900 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Most volcanic soils, dry hillsides, ridges and open woods of oak or pine.

Recorded Range: Milla biflora is relatively rare in the United States where it is found primarily in southern Arizona and extreme southwest New Mexico. This species is also native to Baja California and Mexico.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Milla biflora.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.

Threatened/Endangered Information: In North America Milla biflora is "Salvage Protected" by the State of Arizona.

Genus Information: In North America there is 1 species and 1 accepted taxa overall for Milla. World wide, The Plant List includes 14 accepted species names and a further 10 infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States there is 1 species of Milla. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

Comments: Mexican Star is included in Southwest Desert Flora as a possible encounter in desert transition areas. The Natural Resources Conservation Service, reports written records of Milla biflora in Checklist of the vascular plants of Texas (MP-1655). However the Flora of North America North of Mexico dispute this account.

Date Profile Completed: 03/07/2017, updated format 10/12/2017
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 03/06/2017)
Literature: Hatch, S.L., K.N. Gandhi, and L.E. Brown. 1990. Checklist of the vascular plants of Texas (MP-1655). Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, College Station.
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 03/06/2017).
Gary I. Baird, FNA | Family List |FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 26 | Liliaceae | Milla | Vol. 26 Page 347; 1. Milla biflora Cavanilles, Icon. 2: 76, plate 196. 1793. ; Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford.
Persistent reports of the occurrence of Milla biflora in trans-Pecos Texas are due to a collection made by Charles Wright “On the San Pedro, West Texas” in 1851–1852. Wright was not in west Texas during the blooming period of M. biflora in either year. This collection most likely came from along the San Pedro River below Benson, Cochise County, Arizona.
The Jepson Desert Manual; 2002; Baldwin, Bruce G., et. al.; The Jepson Desert Manual: Vascular Plants of Southeastern California; page Univ. of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California
SEINet synonyms, scientific names, geographic locations, general information - (accessed 03/06/2017).
Wikipedia contributors. "Milla biflora." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 21 Aug. 2014. Web. 7 Mar. 2017.